After a season filled with record-breaking performances, the Oak Lawn Community High School girls swim team had high expectations for its performance at the South Suburban Conference Red meet over the weekend. After winning 10 of 12 swimming events and capturing first place in diving, the Spartans met those lofty expectations and even surpassed them.
The varsity team won the conference championship by scoring 313 overall points. The closest competition was second-place Reavis with 259, followed by Richards with 215. It was quite the impressive performance.
“I’m really proud of the way our girls swam on all levels,” head coach Derek Maciaga said. “They worked so hard throughout the season, and it feels good to come out on top as conference champions. Overall, we took first place in 10 of 12 events on the varsity level, which is a difficult task to do. I think it speaks to the effort and determination that our team has, and their accomplishments this weekend were well earned and deserved.”
Senior Rylee Gallagher started the Spartan domination on the 1-meter diving board by taking first place with a final score of 309.50. The victory gave Oak Lawn 16 team points and started the tidal wave of first-place finishes.
The wonder-twin duo of Lilly and Lizzy Featherstone continued their eminence in the pool and led the Spartans to glory. They joined with freshman Mya Orozco and Amelia Fudala to win the 200-yard Medley Relay in a time of 2:02.08, which was more than a second faster than their seed time.
In the 200 Freestyle, freshman Alessandra Gabriel took home gold with a time of 2:12.82, while Ella Hennessey finished third in 2:17.06. Lilly Featherstone won the 200 Individual Medley in a time of 2:23.83, and Fudala finished third in 2:31.31. Fudala then captured gold in the 50 Freestyle with a time of :26.30. Lizzy Featherstone won the conference title in the 100 Butterfly in a time of 1:04.02 and Erin Walker took fourth in 1:11.42.
Fudala struck gold again as she won the 100 Freestyle in :58.02. Fellow freshman Amelia Kozlowski took eighth in 1:09.15. Lizzy Featherstone and Gabriel snagged first and second in the 500 Freestyle in 5:43.95 and 5:55.97, respectively. The Spartan relay team of Orozco, Gallagher, Walker and Gabriel took third in the 200 Freestyle Relay in 1:53.95.
Hennessy and Gallagher finished fourth and fifth in the 100 Backstroke in times of 1:11.98 and 1:14.73. Lilly Featherstone won the 100 Breaststroke in 1:15.13, and Orozco took second in 1:15.79.
The relay team of Fudala, Gabriel, Lilly Featherstone, and Lizzy Featherstone won the 400 Freestyle Relay in 3:57.41.
The next challenge for the Spartans girls swim team comes on Saturday, November 6, at Sandburg for the Illinois High School Association Sectional meet. The stakes will be higher as the girls will attempt to qualify for the State meet, and they have risen to every other occasion so far this year, so the outlook is bright.
“We hope to keep up the momentum of this season at the sectional meet,” Maciaga said.